Strategy Spotlight with Don: 7 Ways to Increase Magazine Circulation

If you’re running or managing a publishing company, your time is often spent figuring out how to build a bigger audience, boost revenues, and increase your profitability on those numbers.

In today’s Strategy Spotlight, Don Nicholas, Chairman & CEO of Mequoda explains seven ways to tackle the audience portion, which will lead to increasing your magazine circulation and attaining all three goals above.

Quick Strategy Tip of the Day from Don


1. Website access: One major way to drive magazine circulation is to build your email list and a great way to do that is by limiting access to certain articles. You can do this, much like a metered paywall, where you allow readers to view a portion of the article, but they need to enter their email address in order to see the rest of the content. You can also be more bold and use an actual metered paywall where a user can see so many articles per day, but then they have to pay.

2. Email updates: As mentioned, email is one of the best ways to get in front of a potential subscriber. Since most people don’t subscribe the first time they visit your website, and may never return, we think it’s best to ask them to join your email list so that you capture their email from the get-go and can follow up with them at a later time.

3. Free eBooks and Downloads: A remarkably effective tactic for building an email list for those long-tail conversions is to give away a free white paper or some other type of downloadable freemium. Did we ever tell you about the time that one of our magazine clients built an email list of 20,000 email subscribers before the site we built for them even launched? With just one landing page? Yup, and they did it with a free knitting pattern. They got all that traffic to the page by sending people via an ad in their own magazine.

4. Free Offer Floaters: Named a floater because it appears to float onto a webpage. This was a method created in order to fight back against pop-up blockers. While it may look like a pop-up, a floater does not open in a separate window and therefore cannot be blocked or banned. The floater order form is a tactic for increasing landing page conversion rates and may be used at nearly every entry point on a website, though it’s usually better to set a cookie to let the floater appear to the user only once upon entry to the site. For most of our sites, these floaters, similar to pop-ups, are bringing in 35-60% of email subscribers. You can also use them for paid products and magazine ads.  Google has recently asked publishers not to show Floaters to mobile visitors on the first page a user visits, because it can hide content. We support and oblige by this rule.

5. Embedded Text Ads: After a few paragraphs of every article, sometimes a few times per article if it’s long, we recommend adding a text link or a text ad in the middle of your content that offers a free eBook or download. The free download should be contextually relevant to what your post is about so that it’s a no-brainer to the person reading. Once someone downloads a free eBook, they will be able to log in and download more eBooks. While they’re logged in, they will no longer see text ads for free products, but should begin to see text ads for your magazine, or other paid products.

6. Order Forms in Editorial (OFIE): This order form—either for a free download or a paid magazine subscription—appears within editorial content on a website, most often found on article pages and category indexes. This is because it’s easier for a publisher to get more subscribers or sales by placing OFIEs on a page that is heavy with content and likely to be indexed by search engines. When collecting emails, OFIEs simply require a user to supply his or her name and address and click “submit.” For magazine subscriptions, it will do the same, but bring them to a second orderflow page. Like Text Ads, this transforms into an OFIE for a paid product once a user is logged in.

7. Order Forms in Navigation (OFIN): Designed similarly to an OFIE, these signup forms appear in the navigation panels of a website usually to the right or left. The customer/end user fills them out to sign up for the email newsletter, or to move to the next page in a magazine orderflow. Like Text Ads, this transforms into an OFIN for a paid product once a user is logged in.

Want to learn 30 more ways to increase magazine circulation? Our session,  37 Proven Ways to Build your Internet Audience, Revenue and Profits at the Digital Revenue Summit this spring will fill you in.

The Internet has turned upside down the ways in which we take premium information products to market. Gone are the days of direct mail as the dominant source of new subscriber revenue. In 37 Proven Ways to Build your Internet Audience, Revenue and Profits at the Digital Revenue Summityou’ll learn how to use content marketing, search engine optimization, social media and content syndication to build an audience that is five or even 10 times the size of your largest paid subscription audience. Bonus: This can all be done using your existing content, so it’s like found money!

You’ll also discover at the Digital Revenue Summit how a simple Internet portal is the key to online audience development, and the myriad ways in which it can be leveraged to build a large and loyal audience. Our consulting team will take you through an exhaustive checklist of Internet proven, profitable marketing opportunities from America’s Test Kitchen and Golf Vacation Insider to Indian Country Media Network and Vida Y Salud.

Each session of the Digital Revenue Summit is suitable for use with either B2C or B2B audiences, and delivers multiple tested, proven techniques for improving your revenues. Choose one or choose them all – each one will dramatically increase your revenue, by at least 20%.

Don’t wait to register. Read through the agenda. Read the testimonials from your fellow publishers. Check your calendar. When you’re through, I’m confident you’ll be ready to register.

I’m looking forward to talking with you. Let’s chat more about your publishing business over one of the networking breakfasts, lunches or the reception that’s included with the price of your seat. Register now.


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